Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq:SBUX) and Vision Café Inc. announced today that they have signed a long-term licensing agreement to develop and operate Starbucks cafés throughout Quebec, starting with the Montreal market. Starbucks locations in Quebec will be known as "Café Starbucks Coffee." The newest Starbucks in Quebec is now open at the intersection of Parc and Laurier in Montreal.

"Quebeckers are discerning consumers who drink more espresso-based beverages than people in other parts of Canada. We love our coffee, and we expect perfection," said Michael Aronovici, President of Vision Café, a privately owned company, headquartered in Montreal. "Starbucks creates an authentic coffee experience, starting with high quality, consistently great coffee, served in an atmosphere that encourages people to gather, talk and relax. Vision Café is working closely with Starbucks to adapt the brand to the Quebec marketplace."

"We never forget that coffee and people are at the very heart of Starbucks success," said Aubert Prévost, Operations Supervisor, Vision Café. "Starbucks applies the highest standards of excellence when purchasing, roasting, brewing and serving coffee; and by giving support and training to everyone involved, from its coffee buyers to our baristas - the people who serve coffee in each of our cafés. We go to extraordinary lengths to serve the perfect cup of coffee to our customers."

Starbucks Coffee Company

What differentiates Starbucks Coffee Company from its competitors in the coffee industry is its constant quest for the perfect cup of coffee.

The Company starts with finding and purchasing the best green coffee beans in the world. Starbucks buys the very finest Arabica coffees available after searching for the perfect combination of climate, soil, elevation and agricultural practices.

Starbucks is committed to promoting responsible and sustainable agricultural practices that benefit both farmers and the environment. Starbucks works with business partners who embrace the commitment to quality coffee, quality of work life for coffee growers and protection of the environment. For example, since 1998 Starbucks has partnered with Conservation International, to help protect biodiversity and improve the lives of families in coffee farming communities.

Starbucks roasts its coffees at its own roasting facilities, then ships coffee vacuum packed to guarantee freshness at each retail store around the world. Starbucks hires enthusiastic people who have a passion for coffee. Each Starbucks employee, or barista, is carefully trained to prepare each cup of coffee within strict Starbucks brewing standards, to ensure that customers receive knowledgeable service that matches the quality of Starbucks coffees. From Starbucks legendary freshness standards, to the length of time its baristas "pull" a shot of espresso and the purity of the water used in its coffee, Starbucks brings perfection to each step of coffee-making. The result is quite naturally, the perfect cup of coffee every time!

Starbucks has developed a coffee blend specifically for the tastes of the local and regional market. 'Mélange Mont-Royal', is a rich, exotic blend from Starbucks Bold Expressions family of coffees, which are known for their smoky intensity, wild berries and exotic spice. Mélange Mont-Royal is a complex, full bodied and intense blend sure to please Montreal's many coffee aficionados.

Starbucks at Parc and Laurier

The first Starbucks café in Quebec is now open at the corner of Parc and Laurier in Montreal, in the historic Plateau Mont-Royal district. In renovating the existing property, the exterior of the building has been restored to its original appearance. The design, created by Montreal architects Alain-Serge Marchand and Neel Rughani, respects the strict building standards set by the Viger Commission, a municipal body dedicated to the preservation of historic areas in Montreal.

Every Starbucks café develops a strong track record of community support. In Quebec, each store will support a community group from the surrounding neighbourhoods. The Parc and Laurier Starbucks location is proud to support Le Chaînon, an association devoted to finding refuge for battered and mistreated women.

Other Starbucks cafés will be opened throughout the Island of Montreal and the rest of Quebec in the coming months and years. In late spring or early summer, Vision Café will open its second Starbucks location in the heart of the vibrant Monkland Village in Notre-Dame-de-Grace, Montreal.

Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world. In addition to its retail locations in North America, the United Kingdom, the Pacific Rim and the Middle East, Starbucks sells coffee and tea products through its specialty operations, including its online store at Starbucks.com. Additionally Starbucks produces and sells bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink and a line of superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships. The Company's other brands enhance the Starbucks Experience through best-of-class products: Tazo Tea Company offers a line of innovative premium teas, and Hear Music produces and distributes a line of exceptional compact discs.

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For further information

Aubert Prevost, Vision Café Inc., (514) 953-7348